Happy Thanksgiving!

image by mommawants1more

image by mommawants1more

About to head back to Michigan for Thanksgiving! I’m so excited that I don’t even mind the nine hour car ride!

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Art I Adore

I have been perusing a lot of blogs lately and have come across some really great original artwork. Every time I see something new I have to talk myself out of buying it instantly. I have tons of great ideas for how to creatively use funky, colorful artwork to decorate our apartment, but then I remind myself that the cat will just destroy it and I should hold off until we have a bigger place with rooms that have doors so that I can block off his access. He’s cute, but he is not a fan of letting artwork remain on walls.

Here are some of my favorites (all available on Etsy and found via poppytalk).

by matteart

by apak

by apak

by matteart

by matteart

by matteart

by matteart

by wardomatic

by wardomatic

by wardomatic

by wardomatic

Take Flight

This wallpaper by Hygge & West (via Design*Sponge) is so fun and adorable. I kind of want to put it up in my apartment just to see how our cat would react!


Photo I Adore

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Confucius Claire Say

Before you can climb to the top, you must have your ladder firmly planted in the ground.

 

What I said to Dan after Michigan’s loss to Ohio State on Saturday, thus ending the worst football season in the school’s history. It didn’t help, but it sounded cool.

Writer’s World

 

image by signora oriente

image by signora oriente

I often think of my writing as resembling a tide. Sometimes the desire floods over me and I go for days and weeks, even months with a constant flow of new ideas and completed stories. An image, an experience, a simple thought in the quiet darkness of a sleepless night will stir my imagination and I’ll constantly feel like I need to be writing. I scribble notes, return to old stories and rewrite paragraphs, whole pages. I go back to things unfinished and with a rejuvenated spirit, attempt to complete them. 

Other times, the tide is out and my mind dries up. At these times, the very thought of writing is like a burdensome weight that presses against my temples like a migraine. Every unfinished story and unpolished sentence taunts me. They lurk behind me like shadows, their dark forms a constant reminder of my failings, my lack of persistence, my fickleness, my ever-fading work ethic. I begin to think, maybe I’m not cut out for writing. 

If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day. That’s what a professor once told my class. Every day. The line between passion and chore begins to blur and not only do I not want to write every day, I don’t want to write at all. The desire disappears completely. The ability to think of new stories, to bring together images, settings, character, experience, is gone. My mind turns into an endless, empty beach and my life begins to feel void of creativity or emotion. 

And then suddenly the tide changes and my love of writing comes rushing back. This is where I am now: thinking about writing, loving it, wanting it. I’m going back to old stories, jotting down ideas for new ones. The tide is in and my life, after what has felt like nearly a year of avoiding fiction, has finally returned to a place where writing makes me feel exceedingly happy and alive.

 

image by samurai

image by samurai

Good Morning, Good Morning

 


image by nlubis

image by nlubis

I’m not really an early riser. Most mornings, I try to push sleep to the very last possible minute. Often, I push too far and spend my mornings racing around trying to get everything done in time to avoid being late to work. Usually, I fail. I don’t tend to sleep very well at night and when the alarm goes off in the morning, all I can think about is how warm and comfortable I am in bed. So I just stay there longer than I should. 

Every now and then, like this morning, some commitment or task forces me out of bed before the sun is even up and though I hate it at the time with every fiber of my being, those mornings always end up being the most enjoyable. There is something very invigorating about witnessing the day’s transition from dark to light. There’s a certain quiet serenity in the brisk walk to the car when the streets are still empty. A peacefulness to the relative solitude on the road–being one of few cars. 

I’ve accomplished so much in such a short amount of time this morning. I arrived at work nearly an hour and half before everyone else and I’ve already completed more than half of the things I needed to do today. Waking up early and coming alive at the same time as the morning greatly increases my productivity. When I wake up later, I’m already behind on the day and feel as though I’m in a rush to catch up. But this morning, I got up early and am moving at pace with the day, instead of lagging behind. 

It’s very refreshing and makes me strongly consider upping the effort to drag my lazy butt out of bed earlier each day. We’ll see if I still feel that way this afternoon when I start to crash around 2 pm!

Inspiration Friday

image by nicolepete23

image by nicolepete23

I once stood naked in front of a mirror for twenty minutes and listed aloud all of the things I hated about my body and myself. It was an experiment. I thought that if I could get it all out in the open and be completely honest with myself, I could let it all go. It was meant to be an emotional purging. A way of saying “there, you’re not perfect. But who cares? Now move on.” Only I did care. I couldn’t move on and the experiment was a massive failure that left me feeling more disheartened and ashamed than I would have thought possible.

I go back and forth on my appearance. Sometimes I feel great and confident, or even if I don’t, I have the good sense to tell myself I should and force an acceptance of that truth. Other times, I hate everything about my physique. My thighs are too big. The skin across my shoulder blades is too loose. My triceps are too saggy. I hate the way my chin protrudes, or how my nose curls. I hate that my hair is straight and my face is round. Once I hate one thing, I hate everything and I can’t make it stop. I have worried at times that I might have body dysmorphic disorder. I’ll look in the mirror and though I know I’m not fat, not even slightly overweight, I’ll still see myself that way. I am healthy and fit. I eat right, I exercise. I probably don’t get enough sleep, but I come close. I know all of this, but it doesn’t matter. Knowing is one thing, but believing is something else entirely.

It’s a common problem for women, one that I read about over and over, hear about repeatedly from friends. The shared conundrum and sought after advice only further fuel the obsession. When beautiful, enviable friends express similar body concerns it only forces you to fear, “am I not worrying enough?” Every action, every pose, every decision you make about food and exercise, daily behavior or leisure activity is made with the body in mind. The body you want but don’t have. The body you have and can’t help but hate. Life becomes about achieving something that isn’t really important to begin with and probably not realistically attainable at all.

I’ve decided that I’ve had enough. I’m 23 and while that’s not that old, it’s too old for this kind of nonsense. There are more important things than worrying about having the thighs I had in middle school. There is more to my life and to my sense of self than just my physical appearance. Or at least there should be. So I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m not going to drag myself down and belittle myself. I’m ready to live my life, happy with who I am. And this time, there is no going back and forth. It’s time for this feeling of confidence to stay.

My Outfit Today

Cold weather really makes it tough to get dressed for work in the mornings. One, because it is too cold to get out of bed and actually change from comfy pajamas to work-appropriate attire. But more so because I have so much trouble deciding what to wear. I have lots of cute dresses and skirts and it pains me to just see them waste away in my closet all fall and winter while I wear the same few pairs of pants and knit sweaters to work over and over again. Finding a way to make those dressier items functional in cold weather is a delicate practice in combining many sartorial elements without pushing it too far into the realm of looking like a jackass. Too often, I fear I’m teetering precariously on the edge of that realm and I just give up and throw on some pants and a long sleeve tee. I think I managed to make it work today, though. I am warm and comfortable, but also (in my opinion at least) fashionably cute without being ridiculous. 

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It’s Snowing

Just looked out my office window and it is snowing. It’s quite beautiful.

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